In the near future I will be a physical Education Instructor, so I will encounter many different types of individuals; Students with disabilities, some who have different cultural customs and have maybe moved from another country, and some unfortunately with bad home situations, ect. There will be many students with many different backgrounds. The key to preparing to be ready for these differences in my opinion first starts with being open and conscious of these differences. But in order to do so, we must be educated about them. So in my opinion, it is very important that we as students take everything we are learning seriously because it will help us be that much more prepared for future situations. I also believe it is very important for a teacher to acquire flexibility with lessons and how they go about instructing them. So for example, if a student is from another country, I think it would be really interesting to collaborate with that student and if at all possible, include a lesson which teaches the other students about a certain custom from that individuals home country. Some examples could be bringing a certain snack and talking about food, teaching a native dance, or playing a native game. This would do a couple of things- It would make the new individual not as nervous and feel more at home while it would also most likely make the other students more interested in asking them questions about the new students customs, which could help break the ice for them.
Along with my Physical Education degree I will graduate with 2 minors in Health and Adaptive PE. A difference I am preparing for in some future students, which I am about to get more in depth about, is visual impairment/blindness. Visual impairment and blindness can be considered a handicap or a disability depending on the severity(blindness is a disability). As Anita Woolfolk explains the difference between the two- “A disability is just what the word implies- an inability to do something specific, such as pronounce words or walk. A handicap is a disadvantage in a particular situation, sometimes caused by a disability”(Page 130). With that being said, it will be up to me to figure out the severity of the visual impairment and then go from there on how to incorporate different approaches with it.
Let’s say that I learned the severity of the handicap/disability. Next I will have to mentally prepare/plan for how I am able to make that students experience a lot like the other students. This may mean that I will have to do certain things like order a book in braille, choose games that can be adapted for them to participate like the other students, choose equipment with high contrasting colors, and explain things more clearly such as explaining everything I’m writing on the board in a very descriptive manner. All of these things are sure to make the student’s experience much more comfortable. But while keeping all of that in mind, I will also have to cognizant of not allowing things to be too easy or too hard for that student, finding the ZPD would be key, as this could drastically affect their whole educational experience with me.
I really liked this video. This adaptive physical education teacher took her time to point out many different materials someone could use for instructing someone who has a visual impairment or is blind. She didn’t have to make the video but she took some of her own time to inform others like myself, and now you! I really liked how she took all of the senses that the students will use into account when explaining the equipment such as the size of the hockey blade, the vibration response of when the puck is hit, and the sound the makeshift puck makes while it slides across the floor- all of these things will really allow the student use their other senses to accomplish the task. In her other examples she also used strings with bells to tie onto balls or pins, balls with different textures, goals with electrical sounds, and equipment with high contrasting colors.
There will always be those who are different from ourselves, but in my opinion, in order to separate yourself from being a good teacher to a great teacher, it is about being ready for these differences and wanting to embrace them the best that we can.
Woolfolk, Anita. (2014). Educational Psychology: Active Learning Edition, 12th Edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ. Pearson Education Inc.